Southwest Virginia has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the state. Our outreach program connects veterans with fellow veterans for peer-to-peer, veteran-to-veteran assistance. The peer support groups will meet at Laurel Creek Campground near Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia, and use as a base camp. They will then venture out for fly-fishing, horseback riding, hiking the Appalachian Trail from Whitetop Mountain, crossing the Mount Rogers peak, cycling the Virginia Creeper Trail, swimming, and returning to campfire chats with family and friends. The gatherings involve veterans meeting with one another to share experiences and help each other. Intact families only strengthen the Veterans lives.
Discharged military veterans and their families can have a tough go-of-it once they reunite. The veteran usually has to find a job in the civilian sector, he or she may be coping with battle-related injury or stress, and the family has to reconnect after a long time apart. Roles change when one member of the family is away, and a return can be stressful for everyone once the family is back together. The outback experiences allows for relaxation and reflection, while setting strategic goals for the future.
While many of these veterans saw duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Wounded Warrior outback program is open to veterans and their families of any conflict, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserves.
Founder of the Mount Rogers Veterans’ Stand Down Experience
Lt Colonel Tom Davis (ret.) is a Veteran and experienced first-hand the difficulties of returning from Vietnam in 1969. After combining military service and business careers over the next 40 years, Colonel Davis retired from the Pentagon Air Force Staff in 2000 and endured the bureaucratic process of obtaining a “service connected” disability. He has walked in the “boots of reality” and understands the need for the outback approach to relieve stress and guidance for the future in helping other Veterans receive their earned compensation for war related injuries. In co-ordination with other non-profit agencies, this dream is becoming reality.
Colonel Davis is one of the few individuals with a combination of business and military experience in Strategic Planning, along with a wealth of business knowledge and understands the importance to envision the future.